The new SUTD demonstrates Ben van Berkel/UNStudio's integrated approach to new campus design
Designed by UNStudio and DP Architects, the academic campus for the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) is located on a site of approximately 83,000 sq m and is close to both Changi airport – Singapore’s principal airport – and the Changi Business Park. The SUTD is Singapore’s fourth public university.
The new academic campus directly reflects SUTD’s curriculum, using the creative enterprise of the school to facilitate a cross-disciplinary interface: interaction is established between the professional world, the campus, and the community at large.
Ben van Berkel comments: “The design for the SUTD consciously avoids over-articulation and instead focuses on infrastructural qualities, on connectivity and the creation of an open, transparent and light facility that responds to the requirements of the contemporary campus. In this way the architecture of the SUTD does not attempt to overwhelm the students with a singular vision, it instead enables them to develop their own architectural language for the future.”
Following the master plan, the academic campus is designed through two main axes: the living and learning spines, which overlap to create a central point and bind together all corners of the campus.
UNStudio proposed a flexible space for exhibitions, events and interaction at the central node: this Campus Centre forms the intellectual heart of the campus and directly links the main programmatic anchors of the Auditorium, the International Design Centre and the University Library.
The SUTD is a highly sustainable building, incorporating numerous passive design strategies designed to counteract the conditions caused by Singapore’s tropical climate. Based on extensive orientation and wind studies, natural ventilation principles are applied throughout the design, alongside cooling techniques, covered walkways, louvered façade shading, open voids, extensive daylight to the interiors and protection from heavy rain showers.
The overall design forms a response to the natural landscape of Singapore, both through colour application and through the incorporation of façade planters, green roof terraces and sky gardens and numerous green pockets planted with native trees and flowering plants.
The SUTD project is divided into phases: Phase 1 – which is now completed – incorporates buildings 1 and 2 and parts of buildings 3 and 5.